Street-Wise: The dark alleys of backstreet abortion


My heart beats a little harder and a lot quicker as I dial Dr Hosa’s number. I first saw his name on a peeling sticker in a packed third-class train carriage. Looking above and around heads, arms, and bags, I had finally made out the words “Safe Abortion, quick and same day results”. “Safe” seemed to imply anything but that.

A man answers the phone. My voice catches in panic and I feel something vaguely similar to other girls desperately dialling this number: unease. “How much for the procedure?” I ask. “R300,” he replies. “How far along are you?” 

I sound unsure. “About 6 months,” I lie.

His price goes up. “R600,” he states.

I tell him I’m a little nervous. He assures me he has had previous successes, and prescribes tablets which I can pick up from his office in town. I ask the name of the medication.


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